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Over six years ago I was taught by a wise doctor in Mexico that stated to me, “You may not be able to change the environment outside your home, but you can change it within your home”. This is so true!

This April two years ago, I purchased a turtle from a local pet store in Chapala, Mexico. When speaking to the assistant, he furnished me with all the products that I would need to raise Heckle. I was given a small bowel, some turtle food and of course Heckle. He advised me that the turtles only last about five months. I could not believe this, so when I got home I did some research on red sliders.

Well, they will grow and grow for up to seventy- five years. Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise living on the island of St Helena may be as old as 182 or 178 years. If this is true, he could be the current oldest living animal on Earth. Wow, then I asked myself why did the pet store assistant tell me only 5 months?

In researching, the reason why Heckle would not make it was because of the environment that he was given. The bowl that I got from the pet store is called the death bowl. The reason is that Heckle would not be able to swim and exercise therefore would not continue to grow healthy. The food I was given was not enough for him to thrive on and because the bowl is so small, I would have to change it daily. This would contribute to stress. Much like fish, turtles should not be touched for it increases their stress level.

So, I went back and got a 30-gallon tank and other types of food along with vitamins. He loves it now for he can swim around from side to side. He even moves the rocks around to his liking. This is much like how important our environment is to us.

Today there is much more pollution, such as chemicals and radiation outside our home then when our ancestors lived. We may not be able to control this, however; we can control where we live and how we control what we do within our own homes.

This does control the quality of life we live. We do have a choice and it is up to us. We can be like Heckle and enjoy the swim or be sick all the time.

The best way to stop disease is awareness and the first step to stop it is prevention. Our environment plays a big part when it comes to illness, so we need to look at it and educate our minds for change.

I haven't forgotten that I am just one person,

That I am but one voice attempting to stand out from the crowd.

I know that I can't sit here and expect my words to create change without reason.

I can see if I don't educate and try to make a change, then I can't expect anyone to follow my world.

I can feel that time is slipping by me and that it will be gone if I just stand still.

I have heard that there are a million other voices that sound like mine, that want also to be heard.

I've been told that it's not enough to wish for dreams that I have to work them into reality.

Your voice, your opinion-- mean something.


You are one drop, but together we can make an ocean.

Let's think outside the box, and let your voice, your opinion--be heard.


To make the change.

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